June 24, 2017  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Creating Backyard Habitat, Jul 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 24, 2017 

Hildy Ellis, district coordinator of Knox-Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District, will talk on “Beyond the Birdfeeder, Creating Backyard Habitat.” At Rockport Opera House, July 6, 1 pm.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. We have posted summaries and links to 50,000 news articles and announcements. We also post breaking stories and exclusives. Be sure to check not only today's news, but take a look at the headlines from the past several days as well. Articles often come to our attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. ~ Jym St. Pierre, Editor
Save Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

President Trump is considering eliminating the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in Maine or opening it to logging and mining as well as expanding areas for hunting, trapping, and off-road vehicles. Urge the Trump Administration and your U.S. congressional representatives to oppose any effort to rescind or weaken Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. Comment deadline is July 10, 2017. ~ RESTORE: The North Woods
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is Under Attack
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

The Trump Administration is threatening to overturn Maine’s new National Monument. At the request of Governor Paul LePage, the Department of Interior (DOI) included Katahdin Woods & Waters on a list of 27 monuments to be “reviewed.” DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke could recommend that Maine’s National Monument be changed, or possibly even abolished. Tell the Trump Administration to keep its hands off Katahdin Woods & Waters. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Stop Trump-LePage’s Monumental Betrayal
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Let's tell Secretary Zinke that any attempt to revoke the Katahdin Woods and Waters and other National Monuments is an assault on our historical, cultural, and natural heritage, and that our public lands must be protected for generations to come. ~ Sierra Club
Speak up in defense of Maine’s new National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Last summer’s creation of the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in northern Maine was a huge victory for conservation and wildlife in our state. Today, that designation is at risk. The Trump administration is conducting a review of national monument designations, including Katahdin Woods & Waters. The Department of Interior is accepting public comments until July 10. ~ Maine Audubon
Defend Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

There was a multi-year process that incorporated public input to protect Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument, which garnered broad support in Maine and across the country. And yet the Trump administration issued an executive order that may alter the size of or even attempt to eliminate the national park site. ~ National Parks Conservation Association
Protect Our National Monuments
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

President Trump issued an executive order directing the Department of Interior to review – and potentially eliminate or shrink – protections of some of our nation’s most pristine national monuments, including Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. This is a direct attack on our shared Maine history and heritage. ~ League of Conservation Voters
"Born to Rewild," Jun 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

This documentary features wilderness ultratrekker John Davis who traveled 5,000 human-powered miles from Mexico to British Columbia through the Western Wildway, a mega wildlife corridor along the western spine of North America, during an epic conservation journey called TrekWest. Also, William Stolzenburg will read from his book "Heart Of A Lion." At Frontier, Brunswick, June 29, 7 pm, $5 in advance, $6 day of show.
The Future of Maine's Fisheries: Threats Posed by Federal Budget Cuts, Jun 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Leaders from Maine’s marine and fisheries communities discuss how the Trump Administration’s proposed cuts to the EPA and NOAA would hurt Maine’s marine environment, economy, and research—and what you can do to help protect these important marine resources. At Univ of Southern Maine, Portland, Luther Bonney Building, Talbot Hall, June 29, 6 pm.
Family Friendly Hikes in Maine, Jun 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Bangor Daily News outdoor journalist Aislinn Sarnacki will present a slideshow and talk about her new book, "Family Friendly Hikes in Maine." At Blue Hill Public Library, June 29, 7 pm. Sponsored by Blue Hill Heritage Trust.
Celebrate MITA's new home, Jun 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Join Maine Island Trail Association staff, trustees and friends to help celebrate this exciting new chapter. At 100 Kensington St, 2nd Floor, Portland, June 28, 5:30-8:30 pm.
Mountain Lions in Maine – Rewilding the Maine Woods, Jun 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Panel discussion about the challenges involved in bringing large, apex predators, specifically the cougar (mountain lion, puma, panther) and other wildlife back to their native habitat in the Northeast corridor, and how human communities can adapt to co-exist with and even benefit from them. At DRA Round Top Farm, Damariscotta, June 28, 7 pm, $8.
Renewable Energy Activity – Global to Regional, Jun 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Lawrence Mott, Director Americas of SgurrEnergy, a global renewable engineering firm, will speak on the current status of large scale wind and solar projects, technology, and policy here and abroad. At Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium, June 28, 5:30 pm.
Solar bill
Action Alert - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

The Maine Senate has voted unanimously to support the majority report in support of LD 1504 the solar policy bill. The House is expected to vote Wednesday on LD 1504. The bill is a step toward overturning an anti-solar PUC rule and increasing the accessibility of community solar. The governor has been bullying lawmakers into supporting his anti-renewable ideology. Email your Senator and Representative now to urge them to support this solar bill. ~ NRCM & Maine Audubon
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News Items
Experiential learning brings the students to the experience
Fiddlehead Focus (St. John Valley, Aroostook County) - Monday, April 30, 2012 

On March 22 through April 1, Associate Professor of Education and Environmental Science Bruno Hicks and Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies Steve Selva brought a group of 11 students from Hicks’ Introduction to the Principles of Environmental Science class, including four seniors, to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee for an environmental field trip. The University of Maine at Fort Kent offers students in its environmental studies program the opportunity to experience the subjects they are studying in the field, a form of experiential learning.
Environmental Restoration Creates Jobs: Dams Coming Down
Other - Monday, April 30, 2012 

SustainableBusiness.com - Jobs in environmental restoration are among those with the greatest potential. In March, workers finished removing the 108-foot tall Elwha Dam in Oregon. The river is now flowing freely for the first time in almost a century. Now, workers have turned to largest dam-removal project in U.S. history - the 210-foot tall Glines Canyon Dam. It was built in 1927 and will be gone in about a year. Other similar dam removal projects are moving forward, such as two big dams in the Penobscot River in Maine, which will restore 11 fish species, including the endangered Atlantic Salmon.
Federal Agencies Make it Easier to Describe and Understand Critical Habitat Boundaries for ESA-Protected Species
Other - Monday, April 30, 2012 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service have taken a significant step in their effort to make the process of proposing or changing boundaries of critical habitat designations for species protected by the Endangered Species Act, more efficient, less complex and less expensive. By eliminating lengthy textual descriptions and replacing them with maps illustrating critical habitat boundaries, the two agencies will effectively provide landowners and the general public with information that is clearer, while simultaneously reducing costs for the American taxpayer.
State Purchases More Than 5,700 Acres Of Land
WABI-TV5 - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Maine has purchased more than 5,700 acres south of Millinocket in Piscataquis County, including two miles of Seboeis Lake shoreland. State and conservation advocates say Monday's $2.7-million purchase in Lakeville Plantation is expected to enhance outdoor recreation, tourism, public access and economic development throughout the region. The purchase from the Bigelow Timber Corp. of Madison, funded with federal and state money, brings into state ownership a key link in a regional system of snowmobile and ATV trails between Milo and Millinocket. Seboeis Lake is popular for boating, water access and its views of Mount Katahdin.
Border security bill a threat to ecology, preservation
Other - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Houston Chronicle (TX) - A bill making its way through Congress would bequeath to the Department of Homeland Security complete control of all federal lands in a coast-to-coast zone 100 miles south of the Canadian border and 100 miles north of the Mexican border from California to the Gulf of Mexico. The bill, with strong Republican support, is being touted as a necessary step in securing the nation's borders. But it is also being roundly condemned as a thinly veiled attempt to "gut a century's worth" of environmental laws aimed at preserving public lands, historic sites and national monuments. U.S. Customs and Border Protection would be exempt from compliance with more than 30 environmental laws. The bill has cleared committees in the House and is on the calendar for a vote on the floor. Federal lands that fall within the 100-mile zone include Acadia National Park in Maine.
Orrington gravel mining operation irritates neighbors
Bangor Daily News - Monday, April 30, 2012 

A forestry and gravel mining operation off Route 15 is intruding on otherwise quiet neighborhoods in Orrington and across the Penobscot River in Hampden, residents say. “That’s why we bought here,” resident Dennis Colson said Monday afternoon during an informal gathering at neighbor Jim McDougal’s home in south Orrington. Last winter, the noise was connected to timber harvesting, McDougal and a group of about half a dozen neighbors said. The worksite is owned by Michael Thornton of Thornton Construction in Milford.
Report: Maine's Participation in Greenhouse Gas Emission Cap & Trade an Economic Boon
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, April 30, 2012 

It's been three years since the RGGI, or The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, was implemented by Maine and nine other states in the east. The goal was to reduce greenhouse gases by requiring power plants to pay for carbon allowances. In its first review of the program, Environment Northeast said states have seen significant economic gains, and those gains could be better if emissions are further capped. According to Environment Northeast, the program has generated $30 million in revenue for Maine and around 1,000 jobs. The net value of the past three years, said Environment Northeast's Maine director Beth Nagusky, is $102 million. All of the money raised through RGGI, save for administrative costs, goes into energy efficient projects.
Biomass Plants in Maine Could Be Hurt By Mass. Rules
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Maine has nine stand-alone plants that can produce biomass energy for sale out of state. They have a big stake in what happens with proposed emissions regulations in Massachusetts. The rules, being pushed by the administration of Governor Deval Patrick, would require plants selling biomass energy in the commonwealth to reduce carbon emissions, if they hope to get lucrative renewable power credits from the state. "These regs represent the first meaningful effort to develop quantitative standards, based on the science," said Jonathan Paress, head of the Clean Energy and Climate Change Program at the Conservation Law Foundation.
Lovitch Helps Us Be Better Birders
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Eventually, I became a birder, a higher level of bird watching that sent me on Audubon trips in Maine and to far away places including Texas and Costa Rica in search of birds. Linda and I just returned from our third Texas birding adventure where we added 34 new species to our life’s list. And thanks to Derek Lovitch, I was much more effective in identifying the birds this trip. Just before leaving Maine, I read Lovitch’s "How to Be a Better Birder," a 200-page paperback published this year. Lovitch recommends looking at the whole bird first, from its shape to its flying pattern to its habitat.
New program joins energy audits with weatherization work
Bangor Daily News - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Few people go to one car mechanic for a diagnosis of a rattle in the engine, then go to another to get the necessary repairs. But that’s the way Maine’s nascent home energy audit and weatherization work has been done. Under a new consumer program offered by Efficiency Maine, homeowners can have an energy audit and six hours of work improving a building’s heat retention done all in one day by the same contractor.
No More Land for Maine's Future?
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Monday, April 30, 2012 

A modest $5 million bond issue for the out-of-money Land for Maine’s Future program is in jeopardy. Gov. Paul LePage’s antipathy to bonding is well known. But the Appropriations Committee proceeded to put together a group of bonds totaling $98 million. The LMF bond is the smallest. In response to the work of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, the bond includes language strengthening the focus of LMF on the purchase and protection of deer wintering yards. Potential LMF funded projects are already rated higher if they include deeryards, and LMF has already purchased 15,000 acres of deeryards. While we await the LMF bond language, I can tell you that no landowner is going to sell the state a stand-alone deeryard. Nor is the deeryard sufficient to sustain deer – surrounding habitat is also important. Democratic legislators are solidly for the LMF bond. But many Republicans, particularly in the House, seem to be opposed to the LMF bond in particular.
Maine acquires 5,700 acres around Seboeis Lake for outdoor recreation, timber, wildlife
Bangor Daily News - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Maine officials on Monday announced the acquisition of more than 5,700 acres of land south of Millinocket in a deal that will protect an additional 2 miles of shoreline along Seboeis Lake while securing key snowmobile and ATV routes in the region. Several years in the making, the $2.7 million deal means that nearly all of Seboeis Lake’s 19 miles of shoreline is owned by the state of Maine.
PUC approves transmission alternative for midcoast
Portland Press Herald - Monday, April 30, 2012 

The Maine Public Utilities Commission today approved a pilot program to test alternatives to building costly new transmission lines in the midcoast region. The agreement between Portland-based GridSolar, the Maine Public Advocate, the Conservation Law Foundation, Environment Northeast and the Efficiency Maine Trust supports development of a smart-grid pilot project in the Boothbay region. This pilot is the first of its kind in Maine and is designed to test the use of non-transmission alternatives as a way to avoid building an $18 million upgrade to a transmission line in the region.
Plum Creek 1Q Profit Fell 24% Amid Lower Earnings At Real Estate Unit
Wall Street Journal - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Plum Creek Timber Co.'s first-quarter earnings fell 24% as the real-estate investment trust was hurt by weaker earnings at its real-estate business where sales rose but missed expectations.
Mild weather creates differing scenarios for Maine insects
Bangor Daily News - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Fewer mosquitoes, more grubs, but no discernible difference for black flies or bees. According to entomologists in Maine, that’s what the mild weather this winter has done so far for insect populations in the state. Insects that thrive in Maine’s vast rural and wooded areas tend to disappear in the winter as cold and snow set in and then re-emerge with the spring thaw, which often is called “mud season” in the most northerly state on the East Coast. But with a winter like this past one, which had little snowfall and relatively mild temperatures, the conditions have resulted in a mixed bag of effects on insects.
State of Maine Acquires Important Seboeis Lake Acreage
Maine Government News - Monday, April 30, 2012 

The acquisition today by the State of Maine of more than 5,700 acres south of Millinocket, including 2 miles of Seboeis Lake shoreland, is expected to enhance outdoor recreation, tourism, public access and economic development throughout the region, according to state and conservation officials. The 5,741-acre Lake View Plantation land acquisition finalized Monday expands the Seboeis Lands Unit managed by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands to more than 21,000 acres. The State of Maine and The Trust for Public Land have worked for several years to purchase this strategic property. Most of the $2.7 million purchase price was secured with $2,187,941 through the federal Forest Legacy Program. Additional funding included $483,136 from the state’s Land for Maine’s Future program and $14,461.50 each from the federal Recreational Trails Program and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands. In addition, The Trust for Public Lands contributed $37,000 for appraisal and survey costs.
Frenchboro Cleanup Yields Four Tons of Trash
Ellsworth American - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust recently completed a shore cleanup at its preserve on Frenchboro Long Island. Led by regional steward Terry Towne, and with support from the Butler Conservation Fund and The Greenrock Co., the effort yielded 140 large trash bags, 175 lobster traps and other debris that together totaled nearly four tons.
NOAA Fisheries Service announces steps that may assist fishing industry facing Georges Bank yellowtail flounder quota reductions
Other - Monday, April 30, 2012 

NOAA will take several steps that may help minimize the economic loss for commercial fishermen who face cuts in Georges Bank yellowtail fishery quota, which is jointly fished and managed with Canada.
Carson wildlife refuge restoring habitat
Seacoast Online - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge volunteers will plant native shrubs to restore habitat on Saturday, May 5. Native shrubland habitat is in decline in the Northeast. Many species, including the state-endangered New England cottontail, and bird species such as the prairie warbler and willow flycatcher, are also in decline. Forest maturation, fire suppression and human development are the primary reasons for the loss of this habitat. The refuge is working with private, public and nonprofit partners to restore early successional habitat for these shrubland-dependent species.
EXCLUSIVE: Senate Ag Committee votes to increase conservation funding
Maine Environmental News - Monday, April 30, 2012 

According to the Land Trust Alliance, last Thursday by a bipartisan vote of 16-5, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved a revised draft of the 2012 Farm Bill. A new cap on future appropriations for the Forest Legacy Program was raised from $55 million to $200 million a year. A similar cap on the Community Forests Program would be increased from $1.5 million to $50 million. A vote on the Senate floor is expected in the next few weeks. Only state agencies are eligible for Forest Legacy funding, which focuses on private forest lands threatened by conversion to non-forest uses. Nonprofit groups, such as land trusts, as well as local governments and Indian Tribes, are eligible for Community Forest funding, which is used to sustain natural vegetation and public access. To date, Maine has received $51.7 million from the Forest Legacy Program, more than any other state by far, to help conserve 682,500 acres.
Hancock Lumber takes advantage of global demand for Maine's prized tree
Mainebiz - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Growing up to 150 feet tall, the Eastern white pine tree is a hallmark of the Maine landscape. The tallest tree in eastern North America, Eastern whites were once known as "mast pines" and were reserved for the British Royal Navy. Luckily for Hancock Lumber CEO Kevin Hancock, they also make one heck of a TV tray. Bolstered by increased international sales of their Eastern white pine to locations like Canada, China and Pakistan, Hancock Lumber was named 2011 Exporter of the Year by the Maine International Trade Center. Growing demand for Maine wood products on the international market have increased sales of "appearance grade" woods like Eastern white pine, the only species of tree that Hancock handles.
Murky ethics in Augusta could chill private business owners seeking public service
Mainebiz - Monday, April 30, 2012 

The cases of Darryl Brown at the Maine DEP and State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin highlight the complications some business owners encounter when they make the transition to public service, while underscoring the ethical ambiguities of Maine's governance standards. Although each case has its own set of facts and standards — commissioners are appointed by the governor, whereas constitutional officers such as the treasurer, secretary of state and attorney general are elected by the Legislature — each man ran up against provisions designed to prevent conflicts of interest. The result, say some political observers, could cause business owners to think twice before leaving the private sector to serve the public.
A Freeport kayak maker and boatbuilding students combine skills to their mutual benefit
Mainebiz - Monday, April 30, 2012 

One of the oldest manufacturers of canoes and kayaks in the state, Freeport-based Lincoln Canoe and Kayak has been churning out its distinctive brand of handmade boats since 1959. Lincoln's products have come a long way since the company was founded by two college students inspired by a summer spent lugging an 80-pound aluminum canoe through the Canadian wilderness. Current co-owner Marc Bourgoin saw a need for modern manufacturing techniques that he fulfilled by tapping a cadre of young boatbuilders in southern Maine and offering his production facility as a learning lab. Today, as a result of that partnership, Lincoln Canoe and Kayak has doubled its wholesale business over 2011, and can hardly keep the boats on the showroom floor.
A Trip to See Bernd Heinrich
Other - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Well known naturalist Bernd Heinrich lives in Maine and Vermont. This blog reports on a visit by Craig Neff and Pamelia Markwood of the Naturalist's Notebook (an "exploratorium in the coastal village of Seal Harbor, Maine") to visit him in his natural habitat.
Lawmakers see NOAA 'double standard' in mammal killings
Other - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Gloucester Times (MA) - Seismic testing for oil and gas reserves under the ocean floor from New Jersey to Florida — the area President Obama has authorized for extraction — is projected to "take" or kill as many as 38,637 marine mammals a year, according to an independent synthesis of the government's draft environmental impact statement. Earlier in the week, the fishing industry was confronted with a decision to shutdown the inshore gillnet fishery for two months in the fall due to unacceptable take levels of harbor porpoises based on limited data projected through modeling. The industry may also be facing extreme limits along the East Coast on fishing throughout the range of the Atlantic sturgeon, which was granted protections in the Endangered Species Act. Massachusetts state Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, said the harm to mammals from the planned seismic testing showed government operated with a hypocritical "double standard."
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